The Rebirth of the Mixtape

As my close friends know, I used to be obsessed with mixtapes. I have a big box of them at my mum and dad’s house, made from about 1990 to only a few years ago, when I got my first i-pod and a car adapter for it too. See, up until I left Scotland in 2006, I’ve only ever had a car with a cassette deck: no CD deck up until I got my new card. Mixtapes my listening habits, even though I exclusively bought CDs. Almost every Christmas and birthday, I would get a big box of blank tapes knowing full well I would run out soon enough. Some were used taping music from the radio (naughty, I know), others were used to make tapes I could listen to on my walkman or take into school. Yes, school.
In my 5th and 6th year at school, I took Graphic Communication (basically technical drawing). Our teacher, Mr McKellar had an old tape deck which he used to play either Bryan Adams or a greatest hits of the Who compilation. He would give us a task for the lesson and then let us go, only talking to give one on one advice and help. Having  listened to these two tapes for two years, I finally asked him if I could play some tapes I brought in. He agreed and the floodgates were opened. I basically would try and make a new mixtape every few weeks, mainly because my class size was pretty small. I put together the Brtpop hits of the day and some dance stuff. I even made up a mixtape of all the songs people told me they didn’t like (I remember “On A Rope” by Rocket From The Crypt being very unpopular), bringing out my belligerent side. From then on in, I used to bombard my friends with mixtapes all the time with a “listen to this, it’ll blow your mind!” zeal.

The mixtape lasted me many years, before the “My Top Rated” playlist on my i-pod.  But now it’s making a comeback in two forms. Firstly, this delicious little USB Flash Drive encased in an analogue cassette case. It looks brilliant and it’s something I’d think about giving as a gift to someone who was in the mood for some new tunes.


The other is a brilliant concept; Muxtape lets you upload 12 MP3’s to a personalised page that other people can then visit and listen to the tunes within their browser. No media player, no downloads or logins required. Simply spread the link far and wide and let people listen. It’s so simple, I’ve made up a mixtape containing some of the tunes I recommended in my weekend article below. Just click here to visit the page, and hey! Make your own one and leave the link in the comments below.


  1. therip

    Hey there, don’t know if you’ve come across the site since re-discovering your love for mixtapes and finding muxtape. Personally, I think mixwit is a million times better than Muxtape (which I read somewhere had been hacked by babybird or something like that, although your mix is playing fine for me) but it lets you add pretty much as many tracks as you like, and unlike Muxtape, you don’t have to upload your tracks, it uses online search engines to seek out music already online. While not all of the tracks you find may be from legal sources, and often you have to try two or three tracks before you get a good one, I still love the idea behind it. It’s completely free and the design is amazing too, once you’ve picked your tracks, you then get to pick from one of about 30 odd old casette designs, or, you can upload your own photo as a design for the tape, and then you get to name it and it looks just like the old way we used to scribble on tapes. It’s awesome. Here’s my mix

  2. that’s kinda cool. Uploading all those songs did take a while and I do like the multiple sleeve designs. I’ll give your tape a listen to later tonight.

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